Center for Sustainable Resource Development 
Winter 2013 Alumni Newsletter
Issues in Natural Resource Conservation in the post Rio +20 Era

My best wishes to all in the New Year 2013!  It's been a pleasure to review and put together this diverse collection of articles from alums. The articles, like alums, demonstrate remarkable diversity and commitment to the environment through on the ground work in key projects as well as knowledge and expertise in theory and policy in natural resource conservation. Enjoy!


Additionally, as one of our great new social media developments in 2012 was for the Beahrs ELP to formally join Facebook, I enthusiastically urge you to join us in this additional platform you haven't done so already!  It is a commitment of the ELP to increase new platforms for alums to engage, connect and most importantly to share knowledge. Also, please stay tuned as we eagerly look forward to announcing the launch of an ELP Blog in early 2013! All the Best! 

Anita Ponce, MSc

Beahrs ELP Program Administrator


In This Issue:
Dr. Robin Marsh, Beahrs ELP Co-Director

Over the last few months, it has been wonderful to foster and witness the connections between the Beahrs ELP, the Master of Development Practice (MDP), and the The MasterCard Foundation (MCF) Scholars Program at Berkeley.  I am fortunate to be involved with all three programs so that I can help make those connections.  Let me share a few examples.


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Developing Sustainable Water Policies for the South
Prof. David Zilberman, Beahrs ELP Co-Director

South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa have almost opposite problems when it comes to agricultural water and irrigation. In Sub-Saharan Africa, only 5% of available water resources are utilized. There are vast reservoirs of water that can be used for irrigation and enhance food security and provide income and help meet the challenges of climate change. The issue is the development of water resources in a way that is efficient and environmentally sound. Conversely, in South Asia, the major issue is over and inefficient use of water. There the challenge is to develop policies to reduce water consumption and to make it sustainable without losing productivity with minimal impact on the poor.


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Growing Food at Home - Adapting to Climate Change
Kofo Adeleke (ELP 2006)

A low income urban community in Lagos, Nigeria has started to embrace urban horticulture by growing their own vegetables in pots and buckets. This is one of the activities which has stemmed from the Community Conservation and Development Initiatives (CCDI) 'Mobilising Local Governments for Climate Action' project, organized in collaboration with Heinrich Bll Stiftung. The main objective is to create awareness, build capacity and develop common participatory positions on climate change within local governments and their communities. Climate change will affect a number of economic sectors, including agriculture, and encouragement of horticultural activities in urban areas can be a strategy for future food security. Read Full Article
Climate Change and Water Resources in the Mediterranean Region: New Challenges for Agriculture
Noureddin Driouech (ELP 2012)
Nicola Lamaddalena (CIHEAM-Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari-Italy)

Most Mediterranean countries, particularly the arid and semi-arid ones, are chronically water-stressed. Population growth, urbanization, development progress as well as climate change impacts will all continue to exacerbate that stress and result in enormous pressure on available water resources. In the Mediterranean basin, the effects of climate change on water resources are related both to an increase in evaporation volumes and a change in the water soil content. Reduced water flow in the Mediterranean region is a consequence of smaller inflow from melting snow and dependence on the rainfall regime.  Read Full Article
Sustainable Environmental Planning and Management a Panacea to Flood Disaster in Africa
Grace Adebo (ELP 2012)

Flooding in Africa in 2012 was unprecedented. According to UNOCHA (2012), over 1.5 million people were affected by floods in 13 countries from West and Central Africa with an estimated death record of 340 people. Niger, Chad, Senegal and Nigeria accounted for over 90 percent of the identified affected people struck by torrential rain. In Nigeria, virtually all parts of the country witnessed a flood disaster with 19 out of the 36 states being affected. According to NEMA, an estimated total of 173 Nigerians lost their lives and 134,381 persons were affected by the floods.  What are the major causes of flooding? Read Full Article

The Otter Watch Project

M. Gopakumar (ELP 2001)

Otters are, like many animals, threatened by poaching, their skin being clandestinely exported to handbag manufacturers. A greater threat though is the conflict with fishermen, who see otters stealing their yearly-decreasing catch, and do not hesitate to kill them when they get caught in the nets themselves.  Read Full Article

Trouble ahead if "forests and adaptation" are not considered in the Post Rio+20 Era

Denis J. Sonwa (ELP 2010)

In response to climate change, two main groups of actions are currently in use: Mitigation and Adaptation. REDD+ (Mitigation) has risen significantly on the agenda amongst countries such as Norway[1] and US states such as California[2] and are willing to play more significant roles in protecting tropical forests through REDD+. In the Congo Basin and West Africa, USAID and the Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) have also been re-orienting their activities to focus on REDD+.[3] Climate change is thus redrawing the cooperation agenda. For forests, this is orienting policy towards conservation and management efforts that will reduce the emission of the Green House Gases. Despite these efforts, climate change/variation is already affecting the present and therefore adaptation strategies for natural resource management as well as for communities should be considered. The linkage between forests and adaptation to climate change is still missing.  Read Full Article

Management Planning Process for Privately Owned Forests using a Participatory and Consultative Process in the Northern Albertine Rift Forests in Uganda

Simon Akwetaireho (ELP 2012)

The Murchison-Semliki Landscape (MS-L) in western Uganda is one of the six core landscapes constituting the Albertine Rift and is one of the most bio-diverse regions of the African continent in terms of birds, mammals, amphibians and plants. In MS-L mosaics, there are privately owned tropical rainforests that are important for providing vital ecosystem services that regulate global and local climatic conditions, act as carbon sinks, and provide catchment protection to many streams and small rivers. The private forests also act as corridors and dispersal areas for wild animals like chimpanzees between government managed wildlife protected areas. Unfortunately, the corridor forests are being lost and degraded due to subsistence and small scale commercial agriculture, increasingly indiscriminate unsustainable logging, harvesting of fuel wood, and sub-canopy agriculture.  Read Full Article
Chipinge Rural District: A Case for Climate Change Adaptation Ensuring Food Security and Poverty Alleviation for Dry Regions of Zimbabwe (2012-2020)
Osmond Mugweni (ELP 2008)

The Africa 2000 Network has identified an area with a lot of underground fresh water that is between 5 - 15 meters in Wards 23 and 25 of Chipinge District in Manicaland Province (Zimbabwe) through its Participatory Development Management Programme. This was through drilling four of the six boreholes funded by the Japanese Embassy. The four borehole yields are extremely good. There are a total of ten villages in this zone with a total population of about 5000 households. Read Full Article

Designing a Monitoring and Impact Assessment Framework for the Development and Maintenance of Effective Integrated Landscape Interventions

Armando Sanchez (ELP 2012)

Community representatives, decision makers and policy officials are currently in need of a reliable and comprehensive monitoring and impact assessment framework that allows them not only to monitor the outcomes of integrated landscape interventions, but also to determine the ecosystem, biodiversity and economic impacts of such projects. The objective of this article is to briefly discuss some difficulties in the design and implementation of an innovative framework that can play the role of an auxiliary tool for landscape management interventions. Read Full Article
Mongolia's New Environmental Law Packet
G.Erdenebayasgalan (ELP 2009) and A.Sainbayar (Mongolia's Ministry of Environment and Green Development) 

The newly revised Environmental Impact Assessment law reflects environmental strategic assessment and will impact environmental decision-making by facilitating public involvement in environmental assessment, control, and verification. Additionally, measures include appropriated protection and clear mining closure procedures along with actions to facilitate the implementation of the law. This law is significant as it reflects implementation procedures to offset biodiversity conservation and helps Mongolia to be on par with the global stage.  Read Full Article
The Go Green (Nde'ho Maitso) Strategy
Zoely Ramanase (ELP 2006)

The Go Green/Nde'ho Maitso Strategy is an approach that focuses on environmental reflexes. It consists of anchoring one or several environmental actions to an entity after repetitive implementation. A reflex is not obtained at once. This is valid for both simple and rather complex actions. The exercise is meant to be repeated at least four times through four evaluations. Each evaluation will take place every semester, and after each evaluation, improvements will be given to ensure the mastering of the action, its consolidation and an end result in behavioral change. Read Full Article
Brazilian ELP Network: scaling up achievements
(Small Grants Initiative 2012)
Angela Weber (ELP 2008)
Edited by Robin Marsh

The main objective of the Brazilian ELP Network Project ("ELP Brazil") is to establish an ELP alumni network in Brazil, identifying collaborative opportunities among the group and developing a working agenda. To achieve this we proposed to start with a working reunion (workshop) of Brazilian ELPers and to construct a website that will contain our mission, values, objectives, expertise and highlight the areas and fields where we are working in Brazil. It started with the work of five of its members acting as a steering committee to organize the project. Read More

M. Gopakumar (India, ELP 2001) shares that in November 2012 he published a book titled "Walk Through: Short Stories from Everyday Life" that is available for purchase on Amazon.  The book is priced at USD 6.00 and all royalties will be going towards wildlife conservation projects in India. This is Gopakumar's first book and suggests that it is best read on either a Kindle or an iPad/tablet. In the absence of either you can read it on a laptop by downloading the Kindle app. Visit and pick up the book!

Faiz Kakar (Pakistan, ELP 2008) recently returned from the International Conference on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation for Food and Environment Security organized by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) at the University of the Philippines Los Baos (UPLB). Faiz presented his paper "Low delta cropping and micro irrigation techniques as adaptation measures of Climate Change in Northern Balochistan, Pakistan"

To read the abstract of his paper click here.



Dr. Robert Murtland (Northern Ireland, ELP 2001) has taken up a long term, part time assignment since May 2012 as Desert Afforestation Specialist with the Rajasthan Forestry and Biodiversity Project, Phase 2 in India, and hopes to meet with M. Gopakumar (ELP 2001) in Feb 2013 on the next input of the project.  


Eak B. Rana (Nepal, ELP 2011) updates us that he is now currently a PhD student in the School of Environmental Sciences at the Charles Sturt University in Albury, Australia. Eak was formerly working on climate change at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Nepal.


Carlos Garcia Paret (Spain, ELP 2012) has recently re-located from his former work in Brazil to Paris, France to obtain a Masters in Sustainable Development.  Carlos continues to do free-lance work with Brazil and the option of returning after completing his degree remains.  


Abou Bamba (Cote d'Ivoire, ELP 2003) in November 2012 organized a meeting in Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo where ministers of the environment and delegates from 22 countries who share the West, Central, and Southern African coast of the Atlantic called for an "Environment Tax" on extractive industries. African ministers aim to use this tax as a source of innovative and predictable funding for sustainable development in Africa. The initial step in the development of this policy has been to request from UNEP to support a feasibility study for the "environment tax."

As this will be a UNEP contract, Abou asks," who can carry out the study which will lead to an 'African green tax' on extractives?"
For the full press release statement, click here.

For more information, please contact Abou Bamba, Regional Coordinator, Abidjan Convention/UNEP.  

Email: Tel. +242 06 920 3385 (Congo) and +225 02 718 781 (Ivory Coast). 


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